Jenni Hermoso weighs legal action over testimony leak - sources

Spain international Jenni Hermoso is considering taking legal action after her videotaped testimony in the investigation of Luis Rubiales over his unsolicited kiss was leaked to the media, sources have told ESPN.

Hermoso gave evidence to a Spanish state prosecutor before lodging a criminal complaint on Sept. 6 against then Spain Football Federation (RFEF) president Rubiales.

Rubiales is accused of sexual assault and coercion after kissing Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony following the Women's World Cup final in August.

Sources told ESPN that Hermoso is disappointed and stunned that excerpts from her testimony were shown on Spanish TV and is now exploring potential legal responses.

Hermoso's representatives, TMJ, released a statement on Wednesday, saying her "basic rights" had been violated.

The statement read: "All criminal proceedings must be carried out with guarantees to preserve the right to privacy of the victims. Until a few days ago we thought that this process offered Jenni a safe environment, but the continuous leaks and the lack of these guarantees prevent our player from being able to carry out the process normally.

"At all times, we have attended to and collaborated, as far as possible, with all media. Despite this, limits have been exceeded. Jenni's basic rights have been violated and she has once again been exposed to public opinion without any kind of consent and in violation of her data protection rights. These events not only put her health at risk, but also the reliability and independence of the judicial process in which we have always trusted so much. For all these reasons, and with the aim of redirecting the process, Jenni, her legal team and TMK have decided to take various actions to protect and guarantee her privacy. Among them, we have urged the competent bodies to take measures against those responsible for the leaks and to seek solutions to guarantee the security and custody of the information in the case during the criminal proceedings.

"From the team working with the player, we want to remain firm with our management of the process so far, collaborating with the court, the judge, the prosecutor's office, the security forces and the media to promote the development of the case."

Rubiales, who eventually resigned from his post after the scandal, testified on Oct. 4 before a judge in Madrid and his testimony was also leaked to the media.

Francisco de Jorge, the judge presiding over the case, announced he will open an investigation into the leaked testimonies to the media as the disclosure of secrets constitute serious crimes.

Moreover, he has restricted the use of cameras during hearings.

Former Spain women's coach Jorge Vilda and RFEF marketing director Ruben Ribera, who were added to the investigation, testified on Tuesday.

Hermoso was honoured at the International Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening at a ceremony in Pachuca, and the Spain international gave an emotional speech reflecting on her team's Women's World Cup triumph.

"We became world champions because it was the only way we had left to be heard, respected and valued," Hermoso said. "My national team changed the way many people see women's soccer. I am sure that millions of girls around the world have felt identified and protected by this group of brave, committed and honest players, who in every step they have taken have always thought about their future.

"Many things have happened since then, perhaps we sacrificed some joys, some celebrations, and, without deserving it, we suffered more than necessary in a historic moment for us. I am clear that we have an enormous responsibility towards the new generations...We win on the field and off it to ensure an inclusive sport and society that protects us all. And to everyone I want to say: It's over! I am Jenni Hermoso, I am a soccer player and I am that girl who managed to become a World Champion."

Information from Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens contributed to this report.